How the Colby 2.0 got its name...



My first camper was an inexpensive pop up trailer that I bought in April of 2011. My youngest son, Jared, and his friend, Storm, accompanied me on a few trips. Jared would sleep in one of the queen beds. I would sleep on the other. Storm managed to sleep on the bed that was made lowering the dinette table, even though it was about a foot too short for him. Anyway, the boys started calling it "Casita Jim". I liked it well enough. It had comfortable beds and air conditioning. Plus, it was easy to tow. The only draw back was that I had to set it up by my self most of the time. It could be rough in hot summer weather. Then, if it rained, you had to wait for it to stop to either set it up or take it down. Just the same, it paved the way for comfortable camping trips, something I was no longer getting from tents. It would be short-lived, however. I only slept in it twenty-one nights.

On a trip to Koyote Ranch in Medina, the AC started to drip a bit. By the end of that trip, the drip had turned into a pencil thick flow of water that would fill up a bucket, stop for awhile, then start again. The last night, I set an alarm to go off on the hour every hour so I could dump that damned bucket. I simply could not survive that smoldering humid night without the AC, which ran fine in spite of the water.

Back in San Antonio, I made an appointment and took the pop up back to Ancira RV to have them check out the AC. While I waited, I walked around and looked at all the other RVs on the lot. I saw one tiny little trailer that really peaked my interest. It was about 13 feet long and had a really low price displayed on the front. I asked if I could see it purely out of curiosity. All I can say is that the little trailer sang to my heart. I was totally enamored in an instant. I jokingly said to the salesman that I would have bought one of them instead of the popup, if they had had them back then. He looked straight into my eyes and said, "No, problem. We can do a trade in." And that is exactly what happened that day in February of 2012. I went inside, found my sales representative, Griz Harkins, and made the deal.

That week, I had just rented a space for the pop up to be stored at Pack Rats. Up until then, I had always left it parked in my driveway. I never even had a chance to get it to the storage lot. So, after the trade, I towed the new little trailer back to San Antonio and parked it in the lot. I towed it behind my new Silverado. We had decided a few months earlier to trade my car in, buy the Silverado, and let Jared drive the Colorado. Anyway, Jared wanted to see the new trailer. Storm was at the house, so we all got in my truck and drove over to Pack Rats.

When Storm saw the new trailer, the first thing he said was, "Man, Jim... You're really moving on up!" Of course that triggered the theme song from the Jeffersons in my pea brain. Jared and I both started singing it, although I don't know how Jared knew it. Storm had no idea what we were singing about, even after we tried to tell him about the Jeffersons. I knew at that instant that I had to name the camper after the "deluxe apartment in the sky". That apartment was located at 185 E. 85th St. between Lexington and Third Avenues, in a hirise building called The Parklane. However, on the show it was called the Colby East building. I decided to change it up a bit and ended up calling the trailer the Colby Texas. Over time, that name eventually got shortened to the Colby T.

I loved that little trailer. Sure, it had its issues, but it was perfect for me. I usually camped alone anyway. Whenever the boys went with me, they didn't seem to mind that it was so cramped. Jared slept in the queen sized bed with me. Storm slept on the tiny couch or the floor. But, when Rachel accompanied me on a trip, which was rare, it simply wasn't comfortable for her. She had to climb over me to get in or out of bed, and the bathroom was so small that you couldn't close the door when you sat on the toilet. So, after 203 camping trips for a total of 243 nights, I headed back to Ancira RV in October of 2016 and traded up for my current trailer.

I wanted a trailer that would be more comfortable for Rachel. She will tell me that I wanted a new trailer anyway. That really isn't true. I could have kept the Colby T until it fell apart. I enjoyed every moment I spent in it. Still, there were things about it that I didn't mind upgrading to in a new trailer. Here's a list of the changes I told myself I would look for, if I ever got a new one: 1. a shower big enough to use, 2. a bathroom with a door that closes when I use the toilet, 3. a higher chassis, so I wouldn't have to worry about every little bump in the road, 4. a walk around bed, 5. larger storage compartment for my stuff, 6. bigger black and grey water tanks, 7. an electric water heater, and 8. an electric awning. The new trailer had all of these improvements as well as lots of other luxuries like a stove, huge refrigerator, built in stereo system, wall mounted large TV, and huge dual sinks in the galley.

I was planning to call this new trailer The Colby 2. Then a friend of mine, Phyllis Williams, made a better suggestion. Since I was a Campus Instructional Technologist for 18 years, she suggested calling it The Colby 2.0, using the format software companies use when they upgrade their software. I thought that was perfect. And, after 45 trips and 125 nights in the Colby 2.0 (to date), I think the trailer is perfect, too.